As we all navigate through the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic the clearest message you’ve probably heard is that social distancing is essential if we want to limit the spread of this virus.
And although communities are taking extensive measures to keep people as safe as possible, for example by canceling concerts and festivals, as well as closing bars, restaurants, schools, and gyms, they are also encouraging people to seek out both physical activity and time outdoors to stay mentally and physically healthy.
All around the world we have been seeing examples of cities that consider physical activity to be essential, as long as people adhere to social distance guidelines.
But what does it mean exactly to stay safe while exercising outdoors?
Wear or carry a mask
It is recommended that you wear a face covering such as a mask while outside your house. When exercising outside it may be very uncomfortable to cover your mouth and nose during your whole workout, but it is important that you at least carry a mask with you so you can use it whenever you find other people.
Enforce the six feet distance
You should keep a distance of at least 6 feet at all times while outside. This is especially important when you are out exercising since you are breathing harder and your breath may condense in the cold air. Maintaining this distance also ensures that you aren’t breathing anyone else’s air as well.
There are many ways of staying connected while remaining at a safe physical distance. Don’t miss out on the fantastic energy that comes from training with others by getting on a runner’s conference call for example. Or you could take an intense online yoga class right at the park.
Wash your hands before heading outside and always have hand sanitizer with you. While outdoors you should take good care of following best hygiene practices such as sneezing on your elbow, avoid spitting, bringing your own water bottle to avoid using a shared water fountain, using your elbow to press the elevator, and crosswalk buttons.
Know when to go
Make sure to research if your park or trail where you want to work out is open to the public. You should also look into the least crowded times in parks and trails so you can plan to go then instead of running the risk of being in a crowded place.